California Has the Largest Immigration Court Backlog: It’s Still Growing

The immigration case backlog is growing as the processing time continues to slow down. On September 4th, 2018, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on new data that indicates that California has the largest immigration court backlog in the entire country.

According to records collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, the immigration court backlog in California consisted of 140,676 cases as of the end of July 2018. This is nearly 30,000 cases above the next highest state (Texas). Shockingly, there are currently 70,000 immigration cases pending in Los Angeles alone.

The Immigration Court Backlog is Growing Under the Trump Administration

The immigration court backlog has long been an issue in the United States. It is clear that we have not put enough resources towards this issue. Under President Donald Trump, the immigration backlog is only getting worse. When the president took office in January of 2017, there were approximately 540,000 immigration cases pending. As of the end of July 2018, there are now more than 745,000 immigration cases that are pending. This is an increase of nearly 38 percent.

In certain states, the immigration court backlog is growing at a much faster rate. In California, the immigration backlog increased by 48 percent in the first 18 months of the Trump Administration. That is the fifth highest rate of increase of any state in the country. The largest backlog increase was recorded in Maryland; there the immigration backlog has skyrocketed by an astounding 96 percent since January 2017.

Federal Action Has Been Wholly Inadequate

On both sides of the political aisle, there is broad agreement that the immigration backlog is a serious problem that requires action. While the Trump Administration has hired a few more immigration judges, far more are needed to start reducing the wait times in immigration courts. With the Administration detaining many migrants while they await their immigration hearings (including young children), significantly more well-qualified, fair immigration judges are desperately needed.  

Are You Preparing for an Immigration Hearing? You Should Be Represented By a Lawyer

The immigration process can be long and frustrating. In certain circumstances, there may be ways to expedite your immigration case. Though, if you have an immigration court date in California, it could take some time before you have your hearing. In any event, it is strongly in your interest to be represented by an experienced immigration lawyer in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, court-appointed lawyers are not offered in immigration cases. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your case, your immigration lawyer can protect your rights and help you get the best possible results.

Get Help From a Top-Rated Immigration Attorney

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to offer strong legal advocacy to our clients. If you or a family member is facing an immigration hearing, you need an experienced lawyer by your side. To arrange a fully private immigration consultation, please do not hesitate to call our Los Angeles law office today. 

Josh Goldstein
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